The Concept of Nature, the Epistemic Ideal, and Experiment: Why is Modern Science Technologically Exploitable?
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This paper deals with the following questions: What features of modern natural science are responsible for the fact that, of all forms of science, this form is technologically exploitable? The three notions: concept of nature, epistemic ideal, and experiment, suggest the most important components of my answer. I will argue, first, that only the peculiar interplay of the modern concept of nature with an epistemic ideal attuned to it can cast experiment in the specific, highly central role it plays in the pursuit of knowledge about nature. It will then become clear that the form of science in which experiment plays such a role will, necessarily, prove technologically exploitable.